Winners of Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year 2013 announced

Singers from two London churches victorious at annual competition

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Chorister of the Year 2013Luke McWatters, aged 13, and Laura Barraclough, aged 11, have been named Radio 2’s Young Choristers of the Year 2013.

McWatters sings at Temple Church in London and Barraclough sings at Holy Trinity in Sloane Square.

The pair were named winners at the final of the competition, which was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s Trafalgar Square. The competition’s judges included choral composer Bob Chilcott and choir director Suzi Digby.

McWatters and Barraclough both win a trophy and £500-worth of lessons with a singing coach. They will both also appear on future BBC television and radio programmes.

Among the music performed at the final was a special arrangement of Schubert’s Ave Maria.

Suzi Digby said: ‘The standard of finalists took all of us by surprise. What was most impressive was how self-possessed and well-trained the young singers were. Each of the girls and boys presented in front of a capacity live audience and the BBC Radio 2 audience with the panache and artistic integrity of a seasoned professional performed.’

Last year’s Young Choristers of the Year, Louisa Jane Stirland and Isaac Waddington, have appeared on Songs of Praise and on Radio 2’s Sunday Hour and Good Morning Sunday.

The final was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and is available to listen to on iPlayer.